A bronze statue of George Washington attacked South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson in the U.S. Capitol on Monday.
The statue stepped down from its pedestal in the Capitol rotunda Monday afternoon and walked into the House chambers, where Wilson was finishing a brief speech.
As the controversial South Carolina congressman concluded with his standard closing line – “God bless the United States, except for the 47 percent” – the Washington statue knocked Wilson upside the head with its walking cane.
Then it turned and walked out of the chambers.
“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes,” said House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn. “But I can’t say as I blame General Washington. I’ve wanted to do that to Joe for a long time.”
Wilson was giving a one-minute speech on sequestration, blaming the pending loss of thousands of jobs in South Carolina on President Obama, who has done nothing to “help Congress solve this mess” – other than offering proposals that have been promptly ignored by House Republicans.
According to security cameras in the Capitol, just as Wilson said the president should “put the interests of the American people before party politics,” the statue slapped its bronze hand against its shiny forehead.
And then it stepped down and began hobbling toward the House chamber, muttering “hypocrites,” preceded by a very un-statesmanlike adjective that begins with the letter F.
Once inside the chambers, the Washington statue moved with increasing ease. Some onlookers swore they heard it scream “You lie!” as it smashed Wilson over the head repeatedly.
Wilson’s office issued a statement saying the congressman had been treated and released from the Capitol infirmary, and accused Washington of being a tax-and-spend liberal. However, to his credit, the nation’s first president was not a member of any political party.
For a party that gushes about the “founders” incessantly, House Speaker John Boehner said he saw no overt message in Washington’s attack, and expressed gratitude that the sculptor had not depicted the nation’s first president holding the axe that chopped down the cherry tree.
“It’s not like it was Reagan or anything,” Boehner said.
The White House issued a video statement that was apparently a mistake. The three-minute clip included no statement – only images of Obama laughing hysterically.
Since it returned to its podium, the likeness of the Father of Our Country has had no further comment.
But it seems to be smiling more than it did previously.
Hail to the Chief: